Child's Nervous System

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 881–882 | Cite as

Pink and blue: the color of gender

  • Paolo FrassanitoEmail author
  • Benedetta Pettorini
Cover Picture

Assigning color to gender is mostly a twentieth-century trait. It should be noted that it is a practice limited most often to Western Europe and the Americas. It would also seem that the effect of color-coded gender differences (pink for girls, blue for boys) existed oppositely initially [10].

In fact, this reversal of what we consider “normal” was considered conventional, even in the early twentieth century. The debate of when and why pink and blue came into fashion to designate gender rages on, but almost every argument alludes to a passage in the novel Little Women, published in 1868: “Amy ties a pink bow and a blue bow on Meg’s twins Daisy and Demi, so people will know the difference between the girl and the boy.” This is said to be done in the “French style,” suggesting that it might have been possible in France that pink and blue were already gender-specific.

However, there is evidence that this practice was not always common or always done throughout much of Europe. In fact, in...


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric NeurosurgeryCatholic UniversityRomeItaly

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